I read through Playing Atari with Saddam Hussein while my son was in his Karate class this morning. When he came out he asked what I thought and I said “It was a good read, but not an easy one”. This lead us into a discussion on what it means to have a good read not be an easy one. It’s not easy to read about the effects of war on a child and his family.
By the time we were finished our discussion (basically the car ride home) my lad asked if he could read this book when he was done his current read. He thought it was neat that a boy could teach himself another language and have it end up being a job that he does. I told my lad that I thought he would like it and I guessed he would agree with me that it was a good book, but not so easy to read. I am looking forward to his report.
This book is based on a true story, told through the eyes, ears, and nose of a lad living through a war zone when Saddam Hussein was the leader of his country. The hunger, the lessons learned during war, the tears and anger, and the help offered from one stranger to another. All these things make this book a poignant story on war through the eyes of a child. Seeing the war through Ali’s life made the story very relate-able, showing us glimpses of his culture and life as he dealt with some massive changes in his life.
My Son’s Thoughts:
“It was an okay book. Some parts were hard to read. It was good that learning English helped him.”
Playing Atari with Saddam Hussein Jennifer Roy & Ali Fadhil HMH Books for Young Readers Softcover, 176 pages Middle School, Biography, War, Middle East, True Life Reviewed for: Raincoast Books. Where to find: Amazon Link.
Other based on life stories: